Hurricane Ian Wiped Out Parts of Historic Florida, Says Senator Marco Rubio

Fort Myers Beach, a seaside tourist town, “no longer exists,” Rubio said

The destroyed Pine Island Road following Hurricane Ian in Matlacha Isles, Florida, US, on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.
By Victoria Cavaliere
October 02, 2022 | 08:22 PM

Bloomberg — Some of Florida’s oldest and most popular beach destinations devastated by Hurricane Ian will never look the same, Senator Marco Rubio said on Sunday.

Fort Myers Beach, a seaside tourist town, “no longer exists,” Rubio, a Republican who has represented Florida in the Senate since 2011, said on ABC’s “This Week.” Sanibel Island, another barrier island along Florida’s southwest coast, has also been ravaged, he said.

“This is a character-altering event,” Rubio said. “You can’t rebuild something that is a slice of old Florida and bring it back. It’ll be something new, but it won’t be the same and that’s the most heart-breaking part about it from an economic standpoint.”

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The death toll in Florida from Ian has risen to at least 47 and teams are continuing search and rescue operations in areas damaged by the storm, which hit the state on Wednesday just shy of the most-powerful Category 5 level.

The full toll on human life won’t become clear until rescue crews complete searches of individual homes and buildings, and families who have lost loved ones report their deaths.

The human toll has “no price -- it’s extraordinary and we fear that the number will continue to rise,” Rubio said.

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